UK ambassador: Stalled BBL can lead to radicalism in Mindanao
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - January 18, 2016 - 8:15pm

MANILA, Philippines — British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Anwar Ahmad on Monday warned that people may resort to radicalism if the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law remains stalled in Congress.

The British envoy told members of the press that people may start looking for "alternatives" if no peace would come to Mindanao.

"If the situation in the south does not change and we have another decade that is lost in the process of negotiation with nothing coming out, one can’t rule out the fact that people would look for alternatives, particularly those who are exposed to social media, who have abilities to interact with other students and those who have freedom of traveling and going to some of these places of radicalization," Ahmad said in a state news report.

Ahmad added that the threat of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, coming to the country is possible following last week's attack in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks in Indonesia, where the death toll has risen to eight.

READ: 3rd civilian dies of wounds in Jakarta bombings

The guns used in the terrorist attack in Indonesia reportedly came from the Philippines.

"[The] ISIL is not some sort of multinational corporation that needs to have subsidiaries or corporations. The way they have spread themselves is through people aspiring to the ideology or people imitating what they have," Ahmad said.

Signed in March 2014, the BBL was stalled last year after a deadly encounter between the Philippine National Police-Special Action Forces and Moro rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, which resulted in the death of 44 police commandos.

The commandos were in an operation to arrest Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and his Filipino cohort Basit Usman.

Lawmakers raised concerns that the delay in the full implementation of the BBL may resume hostilities with rebels in Southern Mindanao.

President Benigno Aquino III, however, is hoping that the BBL will be fully implemented before he steps down in June.

RELATED: Last nine days for BBL

AHMAD BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW BASIT USMAN BRITISH AMBASSADOR ISLAMIC STATE MAGUINDANAO PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE-SPECIAL ACTION FORCES AND MORO PHILIPPINES ASIF ANWAR AHMAD PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO QUOT SOUTHERN MINDANAO
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